Safety & Reliability

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the CX-7 earned top scores in both front and side-impact tests. Standard safety features include antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system, as well as six airbags.

Child-seat provisions include standard Latch child-seat anchors in the outboard rear seats. Top-tether anchors for the outboard positions sit midway down the seatbacks — a more accessible location than up in the ceiling or down at the base of the seats, which is where they're found on many SUVs. Though the outboard rear seats have head restraints, there isn't one for the middle position; that's something the Escape, RAV4 and others include.

Reliability has been middle-of-the-road, with average overall scores from Consumer Reports. The publication rates the RAV4 significantly higher and the Vue significantly lower. Mazda's three-year/36,000-mile comprehensive and five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty match most competitors', though the Vue, Outlander and Santa Fe offer even longer policies.

Stepping up to the Touring ($25,800) adds heated leather upholstery and a power driver's seat, while the Grand Touring ($26,700) adds automatic climate control, upgraded gauges and interior trim, xenon headlights and a few styling tweaks. All-wheel drive on any trim adds $1,700. Other options include the navigation system, a backup camera, Bose audio and a moonroof. Load a Grand Touring to the gunwales, and the price tops out around $33,000.

    See also:

    Cabin Quality
    Some may find the CX-7's interior styling a bit too heavy-handed, but overall quality is good, and there's more utility than you might imagine on first glance. The dashboard plastic is hard to the ...

    Parking in an Emergency
    The hazard warning lights should always be used when you stop on or near a roadway in an emergency. The hazard warning lights warn other drivers that your vehicle is a traffic hazard and that the ...

    Driving In Flooded Area
    WARNING: Dry wet brakes by driving very slowly and applying the brakes lightly until brake performance returns to normal: Driving with wet brakes is dangerous. Increased stopping distance or the ...